Toast to freedom

So we celebrated the Fourth of July weekend by blowing town and heading to that fabulous paradise called -- wait for it -- Toledo, Ohio.

Quite honestly, we’d been counting down to the trip for weeks, looking forward to a chance at not only blowing town but spending some quality time with Joel and Stephanie, and allowing Phoebe and Sophia to share some valuable cousin time, too.

Although, the excitement for the trip had turned a little less sunny in the last week. On Monday, Joel, a golf course architect, was cut loose by his firm, the result of cost-cutting measures, another victim of this terrible economy … He was one of those lucky souls who grabbed an opportunity to go do his dream job every day, and he worked hard at it. We were as shocked and saddened to hear the news as anyone. We’re thinking about them constantly.

Our usual rush to pack on Friday morning and we were on our way around 11 … We made good time going through Chicago and were glad to be heading south rather than north. One of the lasting images of the weekend is the northbound lanes of the interstate had virtually become a parking lot. Traffic was at a complete standstill. We saw loads of people getting out of their cars, walking around, even picnicking on their cars’ roofs. The sight made me think for a moment of the video for "Everybody Hurts." ... We caught a glimpse of the crashed cars and emergency vehicles that were the culprit of the tie-up, but it wasn’t until we returned home last night that we learned the crash involved 15 vehicles and stopped traffic for about seven miles. Yeesh!

A couple pit stops in Indiana, a time zone change and about six hours later, we were pulling into Toledo …

Despite the cloud of Joel's job loss, our time there was ideal, relaxing and meaningful. Good conversation. Delicious home-cooked meals shared on the back yard deck both nights. Surrounded by the gardens. The girls trolling the yard and guarding their toys. Sleeping in. A picnic and walk in the park on Saturday. Stumbling upon a Civil War-era baseball game. A viewing of “Love Actually” ...

And a toast to new beginnings while we watched the televised Fourth of July festivities from New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the weekend …

No comments: